Category Archives: Blockchain, Crypto, ICO Regulations

Canadian Exchanges to Report Transactions Over $10k per Proposed Regulations

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Bitcoin.com | Avi Mizrahi | Jun 11, 2018

Canadian bitcoin investors and cryptocurrency traders are going to be subjected to an increased level of market surveillance soon if the government has its way. Once the proposed regulations are implemented, every transaction above $10,000 CAD will have to be reported.

Crypto Exchanges to Report as MSBs

The Department of Finance Canada has issued a Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement regarding proposed amendments to the country’s AML/ATF regime. The statement suggests that Canadian crypto exchanges will be treated as money service businesses (MSBs) and will have to report trades over a certain amount.

According to the proposed amendments published in the Canada Gazette, “Persons and entities that are ‘dealing in virtual currency’ would be financial entities or other entities deemed domestic or foreign MSBs, as the case may be. These ‘dealing in’ activities include virtual currency exchange services and value transfer services. As required of all MSBs, persons and entities dealing in virtual currencies would need to implement a full compliance program and register with FINTRAC. In addition, all reporting entities that receive $10,000 or more in virtual currency (e.g. deposits, any form of payment) would have record-keeping and reporting obligations.”

See:  Canada Seeks to Widen AML Compliance Net

 

Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Standards

The part about registering with FINTRAC (the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada) should not be too much of a hassle for the exchanges. Several Canadian exchanges have already taken it upon themselves to voluntarily do so in an effort to remedy regulatory uncertainty, as we recently reported. And the government concluded that compliance with the proposed rules should cost just $270,112 over a ten-year period.

Continue to the full article --> here

 

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Bitcoin.com | Avi Mizrahi | Jun 11, 2018 Canadian bitcoin investors and cryptocurrency traders are going to be subjected to an increased level of market surveillance soon if the government has its way. Once the proposed regulations are implemented, every transaction above $10,000 CAD will have to be reported. Crypto Exchanges to Report as MSBs The Department of Finance Canada has issued a Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement regarding proposed amendments to the country’s AML/ATF regime. The statement suggests that Canadian crypto exchanges will be treated as money service businesses (MSBs) and will have to report trades over a certain amount. According to the proposed amendments published in the Canada Gazette, “Persons and entities that are ‘dealing in virtual currency’ would be financial entities or other entities deemed domestic or foreign MSBs, as the case may be. These ‘dealing in’ activities include virtual currency exchange services and value transfer services. As required of all MSBs, persons and entities dealing in virtual currencies would need to implement a full compliance program and register with FINTRAC. In addition, all reporting entities that receive $10,000 or more in virtual currency (e.g. deposits, any form of payment) would have record-keeping and reporting obligations.” See:  Canada ...
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Canadian Exchanges to Report Transactions Over $10k per Proposed Regulations
Crowdfund Insider | JD Alois | Jun 14, 2018 Ethereum rose dramatically today following the comments of William Hinman, Director of the Division of Corporate Finance at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), who inserted a statement in a speech today that ended the question of Ethereum being a security. Hinman told an audience at Yahoo Finance in San Francisco; “And putting aside the fundraising that accompanied the creation of Ether, based on my understanding of the present state of Ether, the Ethereum network and its decentralized structure, current offers and sales of Ether are not securities transactions.” The reassuring comments not only helped Ethereum, but other cryptocurrencies followed higher in its wake. CoinList co-founder and President Andy Bromberg commented on the news from the SEC that it doesn’t consider Ether or Bitcoin – for that matter, a security: “The SEC’s recent comments are a validation of the possibility of non-securities tokens and a big step towards more definitive guidance on how and when individual tokens can be defined as non-securities. The precedent they are indicating here is a powerful one that will enable new projects to continue to flourish in the space.” Of course, the comments by the SEC ...
Read More
Ethereum Rises on Positive Comments by the SEC
IT Business | Bret Conkin | June 12, 2018 Real estate and fintech have been integrating in exciting new ways in recent years. Real estate online investment or crowdfunding has been a sector that has attracted significant interest in the U.S. over the last several years, with more than 100 portals launched to serve rapidly growing developer and investor interest. In fact, industry research hub crowdsourcing.org estimates that the industry will be worth more than $300 billion USD by 2025. Why would developers consider an online and alternative financing route? A big reason, beyond the capital, is the significant marketing benefits that campaigns can generate, including community building. Check out:  GAME-CHANGERS: Crowdfunding real estate projects in the GTA To investigate where the Canadian market for real estate crowdfunding is going in the next 12 months, we interviewed the two leading portals in Canada, online investment platform NexusCrowd and private equity firm R2 (though R2 notes that they position themselves as an online marketplace or fintech in commercial real estate, not as “crowdfunders”). Learn more below. Bret Conkin: How many projects and capital were raised via your portal in 2017? To date in 2018? Amar Nijar, CEO of R2 Capital & ...
Read More
Real estate crowdfunding in Canada: portal insights for 2017/18
Baer & Karrer | By Daniel Flühmann and Peter Hsu | May 23, 2018 The Fintech Landscape 1.1 Please describe the types of fintech businesses that are active in your jurisdiction and any notable fintech innovation trends of the past year within particular sub-sectors (e.g. payments, asset management, peer-to-peer lending or investment, insurance and blockchain applications). The Swiss fintech landscape has evolved significantly over the past few years and Switzerland continues to be an attractive base for innovators in the financial sector. Approximately 200 active companies in various sub-sectors form the core of the diverse Swiss fintech ecosystem. The total number of fintech-related businesses, however, is much higher. Many established financial institutions and other established financial market players have entered the fintech space in the recent past and, as a result, the distinction between fintech and traditional financial services has become increasingly blurred. Swiss-based fintech businesses include robo-advisory and social trading services, crowdfunding and crowdlending platforms as well as payment systems and businesses active in the area of collective investment schemes. One of the key focus areas in the past year has been driven by blockchain-based businesses, in particular in the areas of cryptocurrencies and decentralised transaction platforms (e.g. Ethereum ...
Read More
Comprehensive Overview of Fintech in Switzerland H1 2018
CSA | Staff Notice 46-308 | June 11, 2018 Montréal – The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) today published CSA Staff Notice 46-308 Securities Law Implications for Offerings of Tokens, which provides additional guidance on the applicability of securities laws to offerings of coins or tokens, including ones that are commonly referred to as “utility tokens.” “Since publishing initial guidance, we have engaged with numerous businesses considering token offerings and have found that most of these offerings involve securities,” said Louis Morisset, CSA Chair and President and CEO of the Autorité des marchés financiers. “Our notice sets out additional guidance based on situations we have seen to date and common inquiries we have received from businesses and their advisors.” CSA Staff Notice 46-308 outlines specific situations that may have an implication on the presence of one or more of the elements of an investment contract in the context of an offering of coins or tokens. This notice supplements the CSA’s August 2017 publication of CSA Staff Notice 46-307 Cryptocurrency Offerings, which outlines how securities law requirements may apply to initial coin offerings, initial token offerings, cryptocurrency investment funds and the cryptocurrency platforms trading these products. See:  State and Provincial Securities Regulators Conduct Coordinated International ...
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Canadian securities regulators provide additional guidance on securities law implications for offerings of tokens
Canadian Innovation Exchange | Peter Jones | June 8, 2018 NCFA Canada is a proud Community Partner of CIX, Canada's most curated startup investment conference. Invited attendees are founders of Canada's most innovative early- and growth-stage tech companies and global investors and corporates. CIX takes place over two days, Oct 22-23, 2018, in downtown Toronto. The 11th annual CIX Top 20 program is now open for submissions. The CIX Top 20 program is Canada's largest national showcase of the nation's hottest and most innovative tech companies. CIX Selection Committee evaluates all submissions and selects 20 to present at CIX, taking place on October 22 & 23 in Toronto. Register online and use code KICKOFFCIX by Friday, July 20th, or reach out to Joel Pinto at jpinto@brunico.com for further registration inquiries Visit the CIX website --> now The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with cryptocurrency, blockchain, crowdfunding, alternative finance, fintech, P2P, ICO, and online investing stakeholders globally. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, services, and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding ...
Read More
Conference Toronto (Oct 22-23):  11th Annual Canadian Innovation Exchange (CIX)
Race Tech Development Group | Dean Jessop | Jun 8, 2018 Nikola Tesla Unite is new to the cryptocurrency market, but cryptocurrency is not new in the minds of the founders. Working for many years to bring the concept and idea to market, NIKO Coin is set to be one of the major players in not only digital currency, but also business-to-business programs through their partnership with Alianza Motorsports. “This is a true partnership,” explained Alianza Motorsports’ Lorne Kelly. “We are working together both on and off the track. NIKO Coin promotion is being done on the side of our racecar, race hauler and with trackside functions and displays while we all work hand in hand to educate fellow teams, drivers and racing enthusiasts on the advantages and benefits of using digital currency. We have had several meetings with suppliers, other team partners, series and organizations on how we can help them get in on the ground floor of the digital currency market all with the help of NIKO Coin.” With a digital wallet offered by NIKO Coin and that can be downloaded from the Google Play Store, NIKO Coin can now connect with a wider demographic of users. See:  ...
Read More
Nikola Tesla Unite to use Alianza Motorsports to Educate Race Fans on Crypto
Grow VC Group | Jouko Ahvenainen | Jun 2018 Data and AI started to come fundamental components for FinTech in 2017. There are several reasons for this development, for example, the development of machine learning and data analytics solutions, growth of FinTech services to have enough data, and new cloud based infrastructures that make it easier to use data. We can expect this development continues and accelerates in 2018. At the same time, blockchain, distributed finance models and increasing privacy concerns will change data requirements and models. Data is coming a fundamental enabling component in the finance services, and it will give also more power to customers. Data to enable customers Everyone today knows data has a lot of value. “We try to collect all possible data, and then we find a model to monetize it, maybe sell to advertisers,” is a common sentence in many business plans. “We help companies monetize their data,” is another typical value promise. “Let’s offer our solutions for free, if we can get the data,” is a ‘sales strategy’. Is it so simple that you offer software, apps, and services to consumers and companies, utilize their data and create a big business? It really ...
Read More
The world's new oil and AI's imminent impact on the future of Fintech
VentureBeat | Khari Johnson | Jun 7, 2018 It’s no exaggeration to call Element AI one of the top startups in the world right now. With the help of deep learning pioneer Yoshua Bengio, the company is making AI-powered products for the enterprise. And from its beginning in October 2016, Element AI has broken the rules of what to expect from a startup. In December 2016, Element AI was the very first company to receive funding from Microsoft Ventures. Six months later, the company raised a $102 million series A round. Element AI has yet to release a single publicly available product, but the company is already working with customers, has opened offices in Singapore, South Korea, Toronto, and London, and already plays an advisory role to startups that receive funding from the Global AI Fund in South Korea. At the creative tech conference C2 in Montreal last month, VentureBeat sat down with CEO Jean-François Gagné to talk about challenges enterprise customers face in implementing AI, his company’s first publicly available products, and why he believes AI is allowing startups to challenge incumbent businesses in tech and finance. This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity. VentureBeat: Are there any ...
Read More
Element AI: The market is still figuring out how to share data with enterprise AI startups
CNBC | Kate Rooney | Jun 6, 2018 The head of the Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman made it clear Wednesday that the agency won't be bending the rules for cryptocurrency when it comes to defining what is or what isn't a security. "We are not going to do any violence to the traditional definition of security that has worked for a long time," SEC Chairman Jay Clayton told CNBC Wednesday. The agency is also not adjusting rules for initial coin offerings, and Clayton underlined that tokens or digital assets used in that fundraising process are securities. The head of the Securities and Exchange Commission made it clear Wednesday that the agency won't bend the rules for cryptocurrency when it comes to defining what is or what isn't a security. "We are not going to do any violence to the traditional definition of a security that has worked for a long time," U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton told CNBC Wednesday. "We've been doing this a long time, there's no need to change the definition." Clayton said the U.S. has built a $19 trillion securities market that's "the envy of the world" following the current rules. See:  Don ...
Read More
SEC chief says agency won’t change securities laws to cater to cryptocurrencies

 


The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with cryptocurrency, blockchain, crowdfunding, alternative finance, fintech, P2P, ICO, and online investing stakeholders globally. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, services, and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding and fintech industry. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Ethereum Rises on Positive Comments by the SEC

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Crowdfund Insider | JD Alois | Jun 14, 2018

Ethereum rose dramatically today following the comments of William Hinman, Director of the Division of Corporate Finance at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), who inserted a statement in a speech today that ended the question of Ethereum being a security. Hinman told an audience at Yahoo Finance in San Francisco;

“And putting aside the fundraising that accompanied the creation of Ether, based on my understanding of the present state of Ether, the Ethereum network and its decentralized structure, current offers and sales of Ether are not securities transactions.”

The reassuring comments not only helped Ethereum, but other cryptocurrencies followed higher in its wake.

CoinList co-founder and President Andy Bromberg commented on the news from the SEC that it doesn’t consider Ether or Bitcoin – for that matter, a security:

“The SEC’s recent comments are a validation of the possibility of non-securities tokens and a big step towards more definitive guidance on how and when individual tokens can be defined as non-securities. The precedent they are indicating here is a powerful one that will enable new projects to continue to flourish in the space.”

Of course, the comments by the SEC does not mean that Ethereum based initial coin offerings (ERC20 – ICOs) are in the clear. Most all of these offerings are more than likely securities when looking at recent comments by SEC Chair Jay Clayton. But what is encouraging is the fact that the agency is willing, and interested, in enabling crypto-innovation. Echoing comments by other staff members of the SEC, Hinman encouraged blockchain entrepreneurs to reach out to them before proceeding.

“We are happy to help promoters and their counsel work through these issues. We stand prepared to provide more formal interpretive or no-action guidance about the proper characterization of a digital asset in a proposed use. In addition, we recognize that there are numerous implications under the federal securities laws of a particular asset being considered a security...

Continue to the full article --> here

 

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Bitcoin.com | Avi Mizrahi | Jun 11, 2018 Canadian bitcoin investors and cryptocurrency traders are going to be subjected to an increased level of market surveillance soon if the government has its way. Once the proposed regulations are implemented, every transaction above $10,000 CAD will have to be reported. Crypto Exchanges to Report as MSBs The Department of Finance Canada has issued a Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement regarding proposed amendments to the country’s AML/ATF regime. The statement suggests that Canadian crypto exchanges will be treated as money service businesses (MSBs) and will have to report trades over a certain amount. According to the proposed amendments published in the Canada Gazette, “Persons and entities that are ‘dealing in virtual currency’ would be financial entities or other entities deemed domestic or foreign MSBs, as the case may be. These ‘dealing in’ activities include virtual currency exchange services and value transfer services. As required of all MSBs, persons and entities dealing in virtual currencies would need to implement a full compliance program and register with FINTRAC. In addition, all reporting entities that receive $10,000 or more in virtual currency (e.g. deposits, any form of payment) would have record-keeping and reporting obligations.” See:  Canada ...
Read More
Canadian Exchanges to Report Transactions Over $10k per Proposed Regulations
Crowdfund Insider | JD Alois | Jun 14, 2018 Ethereum rose dramatically today following the comments of William Hinman, Director of the Division of Corporate Finance at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), who inserted a statement in a speech today that ended the question of Ethereum being a security. Hinman told an audience at Yahoo Finance in San Francisco; “And putting aside the fundraising that accompanied the creation of Ether, based on my understanding of the present state of Ether, the Ethereum network and its decentralized structure, current offers and sales of Ether are not securities transactions.” The reassuring comments not only helped Ethereum, but other cryptocurrencies followed higher in its wake. CoinList co-founder and President Andy Bromberg commented on the news from the SEC that it doesn’t consider Ether or Bitcoin – for that matter, a security: “The SEC’s recent comments are a validation of the possibility of non-securities tokens and a big step towards more definitive guidance on how and when individual tokens can be defined as non-securities. The precedent they are indicating here is a powerful one that will enable new projects to continue to flourish in the space.” Of course, the comments by the SEC ...
Read More
Ethereum Rises on Positive Comments by the SEC
IT Business | Bret Conkin | June 12, 2018 Real estate and fintech have been integrating in exciting new ways in recent years. Real estate online investment or crowdfunding has been a sector that has attracted significant interest in the U.S. over the last several years, with more than 100 portals launched to serve rapidly growing developer and investor interest. In fact, industry research hub crowdsourcing.org estimates that the industry will be worth more than $300 billion USD by 2025. Why would developers consider an online and alternative financing route? A big reason, beyond the capital, is the significant marketing benefits that campaigns can generate, including community building. Check out:  GAME-CHANGERS: Crowdfunding real estate projects in the GTA To investigate where the Canadian market for real estate crowdfunding is going in the next 12 months, we interviewed the two leading portals in Canada, online investment platform NexusCrowd and private equity firm R2 (though R2 notes that they position themselves as an online marketplace or fintech in commercial real estate, not as “crowdfunders”). Learn more below. Bret Conkin: How many projects and capital were raised via your portal in 2017? To date in 2018? Amar Nijar, CEO of R2 Capital & ...
Read More
Real estate crowdfunding in Canada: portal insights for 2017/18
Baer & Karrer | By Daniel Flühmann and Peter Hsu | May 23, 2018 The Fintech Landscape 1.1 Please describe the types of fintech businesses that are active in your jurisdiction and any notable fintech innovation trends of the past year within particular sub-sectors (e.g. payments, asset management, peer-to-peer lending or investment, insurance and blockchain applications). The Swiss fintech landscape has evolved significantly over the past few years and Switzerland continues to be an attractive base for innovators in the financial sector. Approximately 200 active companies in various sub-sectors form the core of the diverse Swiss fintech ecosystem. The total number of fintech-related businesses, however, is much higher. Many established financial institutions and other established financial market players have entered the fintech space in the recent past and, as a result, the distinction between fintech and traditional financial services has become increasingly blurred. Swiss-based fintech businesses include robo-advisory and social trading services, crowdfunding and crowdlending platforms as well as payment systems and businesses active in the area of collective investment schemes. One of the key focus areas in the past year has been driven by blockchain-based businesses, in particular in the areas of cryptocurrencies and decentralised transaction platforms (e.g. Ethereum ...
Read More
Comprehensive Overview of Fintech in Switzerland H1 2018
CSA | Staff Notice 46-308 | June 11, 2018 Montréal – The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) today published CSA Staff Notice 46-308 Securities Law Implications for Offerings of Tokens, which provides additional guidance on the applicability of securities laws to offerings of coins or tokens, including ones that are commonly referred to as “utility tokens.” “Since publishing initial guidance, we have engaged with numerous businesses considering token offerings and have found that most of these offerings involve securities,” said Louis Morisset, CSA Chair and President and CEO of the Autorité des marchés financiers. “Our notice sets out additional guidance based on situations we have seen to date and common inquiries we have received from businesses and their advisors.” CSA Staff Notice 46-308 outlines specific situations that may have an implication on the presence of one or more of the elements of an investment contract in the context of an offering of coins or tokens. This notice supplements the CSA’s August 2017 publication of CSA Staff Notice 46-307 Cryptocurrency Offerings, which outlines how securities law requirements may apply to initial coin offerings, initial token offerings, cryptocurrency investment funds and the cryptocurrency platforms trading these products. See:  State and Provincial Securities Regulators Conduct Coordinated International ...
Read More
Canadian securities regulators provide additional guidance on securities law implications for offerings of tokens
Canadian Innovation Exchange | Peter Jones | June 8, 2018 NCFA Canada is a proud Community Partner of CIX, Canada's most curated startup investment conference. Invited attendees are founders of Canada's most innovative early- and growth-stage tech companies and global investors and corporates. CIX takes place over two days, Oct 22-23, 2018, in downtown Toronto. The 11th annual CIX Top 20 program is now open for submissions. The CIX Top 20 program is Canada's largest national showcase of the nation's hottest and most innovative tech companies. CIX Selection Committee evaluates all submissions and selects 20 to present at CIX, taking place on October 22 & 23 in Toronto. Register online and use code KICKOFFCIX by Friday, July 20th, or reach out to Joel Pinto at jpinto@brunico.com for further registration inquiries Visit the CIX website --> now The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with cryptocurrency, blockchain, crowdfunding, alternative finance, fintech, P2P, ICO, and online investing stakeholders globally. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, services, and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding ...
Read More
Conference Toronto (Oct 22-23):  11th Annual Canadian Innovation Exchange (CIX)
Race Tech Development Group | Dean Jessop | Jun 8, 2018 Nikola Tesla Unite is new to the cryptocurrency market, but cryptocurrency is not new in the minds of the founders. Working for many years to bring the concept and idea to market, NIKO Coin is set to be one of the major players in not only digital currency, but also business-to-business programs through their partnership with Alianza Motorsports. “This is a true partnership,” explained Alianza Motorsports’ Lorne Kelly. “We are working together both on and off the track. NIKO Coin promotion is being done on the side of our racecar, race hauler and with trackside functions and displays while we all work hand in hand to educate fellow teams, drivers and racing enthusiasts on the advantages and benefits of using digital currency. We have had several meetings with suppliers, other team partners, series and organizations on how we can help them get in on the ground floor of the digital currency market all with the help of NIKO Coin.” With a digital wallet offered by NIKO Coin and that can be downloaded from the Google Play Store, NIKO Coin can now connect with a wider demographic of users. See:  ...
Read More
Nikola Tesla Unite to use Alianza Motorsports to Educate Race Fans on Crypto
Grow VC Group | Jouko Ahvenainen | Jun 2018 Data and AI started to come fundamental components for FinTech in 2017. There are several reasons for this development, for example, the development of machine learning and data analytics solutions, growth of FinTech services to have enough data, and new cloud based infrastructures that make it easier to use data. We can expect this development continues and accelerates in 2018. At the same time, blockchain, distributed finance models and increasing privacy concerns will change data requirements and models. Data is coming a fundamental enabling component in the finance services, and it will give also more power to customers. Data to enable customers Everyone today knows data has a lot of value. “We try to collect all possible data, and then we find a model to monetize it, maybe sell to advertisers,” is a common sentence in many business plans. “We help companies monetize their data,” is another typical value promise. “Let’s offer our solutions for free, if we can get the data,” is a ‘sales strategy’. Is it so simple that you offer software, apps, and services to consumers and companies, utilize their data and create a big business? It really ...
Read More
The world's new oil and AI's imminent impact on the future of Fintech
VentureBeat | Khari Johnson | Jun 7, 2018 It’s no exaggeration to call Element AI one of the top startups in the world right now. With the help of deep learning pioneer Yoshua Bengio, the company is making AI-powered products for the enterprise. And from its beginning in October 2016, Element AI has broken the rules of what to expect from a startup. In December 2016, Element AI was the very first company to receive funding from Microsoft Ventures. Six months later, the company raised a $102 million series A round. Element AI has yet to release a single publicly available product, but the company is already working with customers, has opened offices in Singapore, South Korea, Toronto, and London, and already plays an advisory role to startups that receive funding from the Global AI Fund in South Korea. At the creative tech conference C2 in Montreal last month, VentureBeat sat down with CEO Jean-François Gagné to talk about challenges enterprise customers face in implementing AI, his company’s first publicly available products, and why he believes AI is allowing startups to challenge incumbent businesses in tech and finance. This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity. VentureBeat: Are there any ...
Read More
Element AI: The market is still figuring out how to share data with enterprise AI startups
CNBC | Kate Rooney | Jun 6, 2018 The head of the Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman made it clear Wednesday that the agency won't be bending the rules for cryptocurrency when it comes to defining what is or what isn't a security. "We are not going to do any violence to the traditional definition of security that has worked for a long time," SEC Chairman Jay Clayton told CNBC Wednesday. The agency is also not adjusting rules for initial coin offerings, and Clayton underlined that tokens or digital assets used in that fundraising process are securities. The head of the Securities and Exchange Commission made it clear Wednesday that the agency won't bend the rules for cryptocurrency when it comes to defining what is or what isn't a security. "We are not going to do any violence to the traditional definition of a security that has worked for a long time," U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton told CNBC Wednesday. "We've been doing this a long time, there's no need to change the definition." Clayton said the U.S. has built a $19 trillion securities market that's "the envy of the world" following the current rules. See:  Don ...
Read More
SEC chief says agency won’t change securities laws to cater to cryptocurrencies

 


The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with cryptocurrency, blockchain, crowdfunding, alternative finance, fintech, P2P, ICO, and online investing stakeholders globally. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, services, and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding and fintech industry. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Canadian securities regulators provide additional guidance on securities law implications for offerings of tokens

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CSA | Staff Notice 46-308 | June 11, 2018

Montréal  The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) today published CSA Staff Notice 46-308 Securities Law Implications for Offerings of Tokens, which provides additional guidance on the applicability of securities laws to offerings of coins or tokens, including ones that are commonly referred to as “utility tokens.”

“Since publishing initial guidance, we have engaged with numerous businesses considering token offerings and have found that most of these offerings involve securities,” said Louis Morisset, CSA Chair and President and CEO of the Autorité des marchés financiers. “Our notice sets out additional guidance based on situations we have seen to date and common inquiries we have received from businesses and their advisors.”

CSA Staff Notice 46-308 outlines specific situations that may have an implication on the presence of one or more of the elements of an investment contract in the context of an offering of coins or tokens.

This notice supplements the CSA’s August 2017 publication of CSA Staff Notice 46-307 Cryptocurrency Offerings, which outlines how securities law requirements may apply to initial coin offerings, initial token offerings, cryptocurrency investment funds and the cryptocurrency platforms trading these products.

See: 

Any business planning to raise capital through an offering of coins or tokens should consider whether it involves the distribution of a security. In order to avoid costly regulatory surprises, businesses are encouraged to consult qualified securities legal counsel about the potential application of, and possible approaches required to comply with, securities legislation. Businesses should also contact their local securities regulatory authority to discuss possible flexible approaches to complying with securities laws, including time-limited exemptive relief.

The CSA Regulatory Sandbox is an initiative of the CSA to support financial technology (fintech) businesses seeking to offer innovative products, services and applications in Canada. The CSA has granted, through the CSA Regulatory Sandbox, exemptive relief from certain securities law requirements to firms in the context of offerings of coins or tokens that involve the distribution of securities, subject to conditions to ensure adequate investor protection.

CSA staff monitor cryptocurrency offerings activity and will continue to take action against businesses that do not comply with securities laws.

The CSA, the council of the securities regulators of Canada’s provinces and territories, co-ordinates and harmonizes regulation for the Canadian capital markets.

Source:  Security law implications for Offerings of Tokens

Download CSA Staff Notice 46-308 --> here

 


The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with cryptocurrency, blockchain, crowdfunding, alternative finance, fintech, P2P, ICO, and online investing stakeholders globally. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, services, and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding and fintech industry. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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SEC chief says agency won’t change securities laws to cater to cryptocurrencies

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CNBC | | Jun 6, 2018

  • The head of the Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman made it clear Wednesday that the agency won't be bending the rules for cryptocurrency when it comes to defining what is or what isn't a security.
  • "We are not going to do any violence to the traditional definition of security that has worked for a long time," SEC Chairman Jay Clayton told CNBC Wednesday.
  • The agency is also not adjusting rules for initial coin offerings, and Clayton underlined that tokens or digital assets used in that fundraising process are securities.

The head of the Securities and Exchange Commission made it clear Wednesday that the agency won't bend the rules for cryptocurrency when it comes to defining what is or what isn't a security.

"We are not going to do any violence to the traditional definition of a security that has worked for a long time," U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton told CNBC Wednesday. "We've been doing this a long time, there's no need to change the definition."

Clayton said the U.S. has built a $19 trillion securities market that's "the envy of the world" following the current rules.

See:  Don Tapscott urges ‘sensible’ cryptocurrency regulations

The agency is not adjusting rules for the fundraising process known as initial coin offerings, or ICOs, either, he said. ICOs have raised $9.1 billion this year alone, according to the latest research from Autonomous Next.

"If you have an ICO or a stock, and you want to sell it in a private placement, follow the private placement rules," Clayton said "If you want to do any IPO with a token, come see us."

The SEC is "happy to help you do that public offering" if issuers take the responsibility SEC laws require, he said.

The chairman also addressed a growing debate over which cryptocurrencies should fall under SEC jurisdiction.

"Cryptocurrencies: These are replacements for sovereign currencies, replace the dollar, the euro, the yen with bitcoin," Clayton said. "That type of currency is not a security."

A token, or a digital assets used in a fundraising process known as an initial coin offering, or ICO, are securities by Clayton's definition.

"A token, a digital asset, where I give you my money and you go off and make a venture, and in return for giving you my money I say 'you can get a return' that is a security and we regulate that," Clayton said. "We regulate the offering of that security and regulate the trading of that security."

Whether an asset is a security right now follows the "Howey Test." The ruling comes from a 1946 U.S. Supreme Court case that classifies a security as an investment of money in a common enterprise, in which the investor expects profits primarily from others' efforts.

Clayton made it clear in March that all ICOs constitute securities, and reiterated that Wednesday saying "if it's a security, we're regulating it."

But companies tied to those cryptocurrencies have argued that some should be fall under a different category, in many cases because of their utility.

The financial watchdog has been balancing consumer protection and innovation in what has become multi-billion dollar cryptocurrency market. The market capitalization of bitcoin alone is more than $130 billion, according to CoinMarketCap.

On Tuesday, the SEC picked a new leader for its emerging cryptocurrency division. Valerie Szczepanik, who already worked at the agency, was promoted to a role that didn't exist until this week: Associate Director of the Division of Corporation Finance and Senior Advisor for Digital Assets and Innovation.

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The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with cryptocurrency, blockchain, crowdfunding, alternative finance, fintech, P2P, ICO, and online investing stakeholders globally. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, services, and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding and fintech industry. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Gibraltar: Where Is The Best Country To Launch An ICO – Switzerland Or Gibraltar?

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Mondaq | Hassans by Chloe Oppenheimer | May 29, 2018

As the owner of a start-up or a crypto investor researching blockchain-friendly jurisdictions, no doubt you have already read numerous articles comparing the various crypto-friendly countries and noticed the same names keep cropping up. In this article we assume you have now narrowed your choice down to two options, and are currently wondering which of the two is the best country to launch your ICO, Switzerland or Gibraltar?

Both jurisdictions are small, multilingual nations with a solid financial background and cutting-edge infrastructure, each vying to become the crypto capital of Europe.

In one corner; a global banking behemoth known for its clockwork efficiency. In the other; a vibrant commercial powerhouse to whom we owe the phrase, "Steady as the Rock of Gibraltar."

We put both jurisdictions through a full nine rounds of critical benchmarks to determine which contender is the clear winner.

1. Blockchain friendly

Switzerland has been quick to embrace blockchain, which is hardly surprising given its status as "the global leader in terms of cross border private banking" and "one of the largest asset management and fund distribution markets in Europe", according to PwC. [Source]

Alongside traditional financial hubs like Zurich and Geneva, the small town of Zug, once a sleepy lakeside fishing town, has been transformed by the blockchain industry. It now plays host to many influential entities, including the Ethereum Foundation, and brands itself as "the Crypto Valley".

Gibraltar, meanwhile, has its own trendy title – "the Crypto Harbour" – and has also enjoyed massive success within numerous competitive sectors, its most recent success being the field of online gaming. Gibraltar is the foremost jurisdiction in the world for the industry, being home to the biggest and best online gaming companies with the highest pedigree. Not only does Gibraltar have experience in developing tech industries, with the necessary resources to support future blockchain industries, its success in gaming is proof that the jurisdiction can nurture a once-new and peripheral business model into a mature, reputable and lucrative industry.

Result: Draw

 

2. Regulation

In regulatory terms, both countries take a very similar stance. They both seek to find the middle ground to support and promote innovation within the distributed ledger technology industry, while simultaneously protecting the integrity of their respective financial services industries and global reputation.

Switzerland published its guidance notes for ICOs in February and is looking to introduce a special FinTech licence though it needs to move fast if it is to catch-up with its rivals.

With a small population of approximately 33,573 people, Gibraltar enjoys the advantages of being extremely agile, having a pro-business and friendly government, a regulator that has vast expert knowledge on distributed ledger technology and understands the crucial balance between protecting consumers through regulated conduct while encouraging innovation. It also enjoys a close-knit professional services community (including law firms, accounting firms, banks and fiduciary service providers) who are actively embracing DLT-related business and quality ICOs.

All this translates into swift, decisive action with an ability to quickly change tack in response to an ever-changing FinTech landscape. As a result Gibraltar is much farther ahead of Switzerland in regulatory terms, with a working set of DLT Regulations since January 2018.

In March, the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission published its Token Regulation Policy Document. The regulations themselves are set to come into effect in the coming months. In the meantime, Gibraltar is already welcoming a steady stream of eager DLT Licence applicants and quality ICO projects.

Result: Gibraltar wins – more proactive, nimble and much further ahead on regulation.

3. Exchanges and Sales Platforms

One of the largest crypto trading platforms in the world, Bitfinex, recently announced its plans to move to Switzerland. Gibraltar's DLT Regulations, however, have attracted numerous crypto-currency exchanges to the jurisdiction, such as BTCC, CEX and eToro and is, therefore, once again several steps ahead. Gibraltar is also home to TokenMarket who was recently awarded 'The Best ICO Advisor' at Cryptocurrency World Expo Berlin Summit 2018, and the Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange which, earlier this year, successfully completed its Rock Token sale.

Result: Gibraltar wins – although Switzerland, and Zug in particular, is a prime contender in this area, Gibraltar remains one step ahead.

4. Banking

The one activity we associate with Switzerland more than any other (even skiing), is banking. Swiss banks enjoy an illustrious reputation globally for professionalism and discretion. Switzerland has banks which happily allow crypto operators to open accounts, subject to compliance with their client on-boarding requirements.
Gibraltar also has a strong banking sector and a solid financial reputation globally. Plus, its banks also allow crypto operators to set up accounts.

Result: Draw – Swiss banking may be world famous, though does not necessarily offer any significant advantage over equally viable and well respected Gibraltar banking options.

5. Tax

Switzerland's corporate tax rate varies by region and it's worth noting that Zug, the "Crypto Valley", has a comparatively high one, at 14.6%, especially when compared Gibraltar's corporate tax rate of just 10%. These considerable savings, plus an additional set of low tax or zero-tax benefits, mean that, once again, Gibraltar has the edge.

Result: Gibraltar wins – the jurisdiction's 10% Corporate Tax wins out over Zug's 14.6%.

6. Currency

Investors consider Swiss Francs to be a strong, stable currency, particularly popular during periods of volatility. Gibraltar, meanwhile, uses the Gibraltar Pound as its currency, which, although minted in Gibraltar, enjoys total parity with the British Pound.

Result: Draw – Swiss Francs, like gold, prove popular in times of uncertainty. The Pound, meanwhile, remains one of the world's top traded currencies, alongside the Dollar, Euro and Yen. We accept volatility as part and parcel of contemporary crypto trading, but still require stable fiat currencies for day-to-day business operations to function properly. Both jurisdictions provide this.

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The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with cryptocurrency, blockchain, crowdfunding, alternative finance, fintech, P2P, ICO, and online investing stakeholders globally. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, services, and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding and fintech industry.  Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE!  Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit:  www.ncfacanada.org

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State and Provincial Securities Regulators Conduct Coordinated International Crypto Crackdown

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NASAA | May 21, 2018

Borg: “The actions announced today are just the tip of the iceberg.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 21, 2018) – The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) today announced one of the largest coordinated series of enforcement actions by state and provincial securities regulators in the United States and Canada to crack down on fraudulent Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), cryptocurrency-related investment products, and those behind them.

NASAA members from more than 40 jurisdictions throughout North America participated in “Operation Cryptosweep,” which to date has resulted in nearly 70 inquiries and investigations and 35 pending or completed enforcement actions related to ICOs or cryptocurrencies since the beginning of May. NASAA members are conducting additional investigations into potentially fraudulent conduct that may result in additional enforcement actions. These actions are in addition to more than a dozen enforcement actions previously undertaken by NASAA members regarding these types of products. Many NASAA members also are conducting public outreach initiatives to warn investors in their jurisdictions of the risks associated with ICOs and cryptocurrencies.

See:  Plowing Ahead: Bermuda Continues Crypto-Friendly Push With Digital ID Partnership

“The persistently expanding exploitation of the crypto ecosystem by fraudsters is a significant threat to Main Street investors in the United States and Canada, and NASAA members are committed to combating this threat,” said Joseph P. Borg, NASAA President and Director of the Alabama Securities Commission.

“Despite a series of public warnings from securities regulators at all levels of government, cryptocriminals need to know that state and provincial securities regulators are taking swift and effective action to protect investors from their schemes and scams.”

In April 2018, NASAA organized a task force of its member state and provincial securities regulators to begin a coordinated series of investigations into ICOs and cryptocurrency-related investment products. Regulators identified many cryptocurrency-related products and as part of its work, the task force identified hundreds of ICOs in the final stages of preparation before being launched to the public. These pending ICOs were advertised and listed on ICO aggregation sites to attract investor interest. Many have been examined and some were determined to warrant further investigation. A number of these investigations are ongoing and others resulted in enforcement actions announced today.

“Not every ICO or cryptocurrency-related investment is fraudulent, but we urge investors to approach any initial coin offering or cryptocurrency-related investment product with extreme caution,” Borg said.

“The actions announced today are just the tip of the iceberg,” Borg said, noting that the task force also found approximately 30,000 crypto-related domain name registrations, the vast majority of which appeared in 2017 and 2018.

A critical component of “Operation Cryptosweep” is raising public awareness of the risks associated with ICOs and cryptocurrency-related investment products.

For more information about ICOs and cryptocurrencies, watch NASAA’s video “Get in the Know About ICOs” or read NASAA’s Investor Advisories: “What to Know About ICOs” and “Be Cautious of the Crypto Investment Craze.”

View the list of Operation Crypto-sweep Enforcement Actions and Activities

 


The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with cryptocurrency, blockchain, crowdfunding, alternative finance, fintech, P2P, ICO, and online investing stakeholders globally. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, services, and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding and fintech industry.  Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE!  Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit:  www.ncfacanada.org

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OSC Investor Alert: BTCReal, BitSerial, Hypercube Ventures LP, CabinCoin OÜ, and BaapPay Inc.

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OSC Release | May 18, 2018

TORONTO – The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is warning investors about BTCReal, BitSerial, Hypercube Ventures LP, CabinCoin OÜ, and BaapPay Inc. These firms appear to be involved in schemes that target Ontario investors and encourage them to trade or invest in cryptocurrencies.

BTCReal, BitSerial, Hypercube Ventures LP, CabinCoin OÜ, and BaapPay Inc. are not registered in Ontario to solicit investments or provide advice on investing in, buying or selling securities.

BTCReal manages the website btcreal.biz, where it claims to provide full investment services for cryptocurrency-related investments and forex. BTCReal claims it can provide investors with high returns in short periods of time.

BitSerial operates the website bitserial.io, which claims to offer opportunities to invest in “BTE Tokens.” BitSerial’s website also encourages investors to participate in a lending program where they can exchange Bitcoin, Litecoin, or Ethereum for BTE Tokens that are “lent out” for high returns.

See:  CSA Staff Notice 46-307: Cryptocurrency Offerings

Hypercube Ventures LP manages the websites hypercube.vc, hypercube.fund, vnn.money and vnn.cash, which encourage investors to buy “emission pools” for the purpose of generating “VNN cryptocurrency.”

CabinCoin OÜ operates the websites cabincoin.com and cabincoin.exchange, and is currently advertising an unregistered token sale for “CabinCoin Tokens.” CabinCoin claims that the future value of these tokens will far exceed their initial price.

BaapPay Inc. manages the website baappaytoken.com, and is also currently advertising an unregistered token sale.

Any distribution to an Ontario resident requires a prospectus or exemption from the prospectus requirement, which Bitserial, Hypercube, CabinCoin and BaapPay do not have.

Anyone who has invested in, or had dealings with the above businesses should contact the OSC Inquiries and Contact Centre at 1-877-785-1555 or inquiries@osc.gov.on.ca.

Investors should consider the risks associated with investing in cryptocurrencies, and be aware that the marketing of high returns is often an indication of investment fraud.

Information on common signs of investment fraud, helpful material on cryptocurrency basics and initial coin offerings, and more on Ontarians and cryptocurrencies can be found on the OSC’s investor website GetSmarterAboutMoney.ca.

The mandate of the OSC is to provide protection to investors from unfair, improper or fraudulent practices, to foster fair and efficient capital markets and confidence in the capital markets, and to contribute to the stability of the financial system and the reduction of systemic risk.  Investors are urged to check the registration of any persons or company offering an investment opportunity and to review the OSC investor materials available at http://www.osc.gov.on.ca.

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The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with cryptocurrency, blockchain, crowdfunding, alternative finance, fintech, P2P, ICO, and online investing stakeholders globally. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, services, and networking opportunities to over 1700+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding and fintech industry.  Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE!  Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit:  www.ncfacanada.org

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